FAO says Horn of Africa grappling with effects of drought, floods

  • World
  • Friday, 26 May 2023

NAIROBI, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The Horn of Africa is currently grappling with a combined effect of drought and floods, which are devastating people's lives and livelihoods, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Thursday.

Cyril Ferrand, FAO's resilience team leader for East Africa, noted that the March-to-May rains were normal for the first time after three years or five seasons of drought, leading to floods that have seen thousands displaced.

"The long-term drought made soil-less absorbent; rainwater does not percolate very easily through the ground. And that is also part of the reason why we have floods," Ferrand said in a statement issued in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi that the affected countries are Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

According to him, the greater Horn of Africa or the Intergovernmental Authority on Development region has become prone to natural shocks and hazards. "We had an unprecedented level of cyclones in 2019, and an off-season excess moisture triggered by cyclones led to the desert locust upsurge. At the same time, we saw three severe drought phenomena in 12 years."

Looking at the short rains from October to December 2023, he noted that there is an increasing probability of El Nino forming, which means excessive rains and floods in the region toward the end of this year.

During the drought that affected Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia as well as Djibouti, many farming households experienced up to 100 percent losses, especially in the arid and semi-arid areas, said Ferrand.

"In short, the drought triggered a livelihood crisis that has grown into a multifaceted humanitarian disaster including displacement, health issues, malnutrition and security crisis that has long-term effects on people's lives and livelihoods," Ferrand observed.

The official added that there is a critical need to invest in livelihoods, resilience and climate adaptation in the region.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Polls show Australia Indigenous referendum support slipping, likely to fail
Canada House speaker apologizes for recognition of veteran who fought for Nazis
Evo Morales announces candidacy for 2025 Bolivia presidential elections
New Zealand National Party prepared to join forces with NZ First to get into power
Libyan PM, UNICEF official discuss aid for flood victims
French centre-right keeps control of Senate, far-right wins 3 seats
Landmines, explosives cause 20 civilian casualties in Yemen's Hodeidah in August: UN
Chile raises alert for Villarrica volcano to amber
Ex-Goldman Sachs trader to lead Greece's leftist Syriza party
London celebrates Mid-Autumn Festival with performances

Others Also Read